Front of the Shroud of Turin

A photograph of the Shroud of Turin showing both the negative (left) and positive (right) views.

Originally published in the French language in 1950, A Doctor at Calvary provides an in-depth description of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ from the perspective of medical research.

Author Pierre Barbet, M.D. (1884-1961) was a French physician and chief surgeon at Saint Joseph’s hospital in Paris. Because of his expertise in anatomy and surgery, including battlefield surgery experience in World War I, Barbet was consulted in regard to verifying the anatomical accuracy of the Shroud of Turin after it was publicly displayed in 1931.

The Shroud of Turin is believed by some to be the linen shroud in which the body of Jesus was wrapped at His burial. It bears unusual images imprinted on the cloth by some unknown means. The images resemble a 3-D photographic negative of a man’s body exhibiting wounds consistent with the wounds of Christ.

Dr. Barbet conducted extensive anatomical experiments in 1932 and 1935 to determine the anatomical and physiological effects on the human body of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible and other historical accounts. He published his findings in a series of papers which he later brought together in this book, modifying and adding explanations as needed for readers lacking a medical background. The resulting work retains exacting medical detail in an accessible style.

This book is not for the faint at heart. Dr. Barbet goes into great detail describing the excruciating effects of the scourging and crucifixion on the human body. Reading it, you will gain a profound awareness of the depth of suffering our Lord was willing to endure for our sakes.

Barbet, Pierre. A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon. Translated by The Earl of Wicklow. 1963. Image Books.
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